Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Keep Your Hat On Your Head

Learning to pull your mask off correctly takes practice. For me it was especially challenging since I refused to wear a bill shorter than 6 stitches. While I thought I was adept at the mechanic, it was not uncommon for me to pull my mask off during a game and have my hat go with it. Occassionally it would end up on the ground.

Last year at the Vic Voltaggio Umpire Camp, Vic told us about an old pro catcher secret: cut off the cross strap, it will prevent your mask harness from pulling your hat off your head.

I was skeptical about this trick, but I tried it out. After a year of wearing it this way I can report that it does work. I prefer to wear my mask loose, so that any ball impact will spin the mask. The cross straps serve no useful purpose when wearing my mask loose. On the other hand, I have enjoyed not having the cross straps, which gripped the hat when I pulled off my mask, and oftentimes will become twisted.

Cutting the cross straps is usually a simple procedure with a thread ripper. Here is a picture of my mask without cross straps:


I added a picture below with an arrow pointing to the cross straps of a typical mask harness.


Anonymous said...

can somebody tell what is the cross strap

Pete Reiser said...

Absolutely! I have added a picture with arrow pointing to the cross strap. I hope this helps.